Cumberland meat processor named Best of Show at WI State Fair

Gloria Hafemeister
Correspondent
Louie’s Finer Meats of Cumberland earned the honor of Wisconsin State Fair Meat products Best of Show  for its entry into the Dried or Smoked Meat division. It sold last week to a consortium of MaryBeth Carr, Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps and UW Provision Company, for $2,000 for the benefit of Wisconsin 4-H.  Louie  Muench Jr. , second from right, and Louie Muench, Sr., right, are joined by Emmalyn Sprangers, left, and Adaire MacSwain of the Wisconsin 4-H Leadership Council.

WEST ALLIS – Louie’s Finer Meats, Inc. of Cumberland earned the honor of having the meat they entered in the dried or smoked meat division at the Wisconsin State Fair chosen as the Best of Show last week at the Wisconsin State Fair.  The announcement was made by Wisconsin State Fair Chairman of the Board John Yingling during the 29th annual Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products auction benefitting the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.

Jeff Sindelar said the selection was made by a panel of judges evaluating more than 100 meat entries at this year’s fair. The Best of Show award was a memorial to the late Dennis Buege who Sindelar describes as “the heart and soul in the meat industry for many years.”

The top award meat sold to a consortium of MaryBeth Carr, Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps and UW Provision Company, for $2,000.

Bidders at the event raised nearly $109,000 for the benefit of the nearly 150,000 youth involved in 4-H statewide.

Winners and more

BaconGrand Champion: Prem Meats (formerly Wyttenbach Meats), Prairie du Sac. Buyer: Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps for $3,500; Resale: Ultimate Confections for $1,400.

Reserve Champion: Louie’s Finer Meats, Cumberland. Buyer: Meijer for $2,500; Resale: UW Provision Company for $1,000. Honorable Mention: Driftless Provisions, Viroqua. Buyer: Randy Schopen Memorial Foundation for $1,250.

Bone-In HamGrand Champion: The Meat Block, LLC, Greenville. Buyer: Consortium of Boehlke Bottled Gas, Cousin's Subs, GoRiteway for $4,050.

Reserve Champion: Lodi Sausage Company, Lodi. Buyer: Daluge Travel for $2,500. Honorable Mention: Ray’s Market, Colby. Buyer: Rural Mutual Insurance for $1,300; Resale: Kewaskum Foods for $800.

Summer SausageGrand Champion: Louie's Finer Meats, Inc. Buyer: Egg Innovations for $2,700.

Reserve Champion: Prem Meats. Buyer: Meijer for $2,000; Resale: Wisconsin Farm Bureau for $1,000. Honorable Mention: Geiss Meat Service. Buyer: Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps for $1,100.

Former Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel, center, watches for bids as guest auctioneer Tommy Slack, a Walworth County 4-H member, tries his hand at selling the Wisconsin summer sausage donated by Kewaskum Foods of Kewaskum during the annual Wisconsin State Fair Meats Products auction at State Fair last week.

Dried or Smoked BeefGrand Champion: Louie's Finer Meats, Inc.. Buyer: UW Provision Company for $1,600.

Reserve Champion:: Geiss Meat Service. Buyer: Gibbsville Implement for $1,700. Honorable Mention: Wilson Farm Meats, Elkhorn. Buyer: Jones Family Farm for $2,500.

Snack SausagesGrand Champion: Louie's Finer Meats, Inc. Buyer: UW Provision Company for $1,250.

Reserve Champion: Geiss Meat Service. Buyer:  Rural Mutual Insurance for $1,200. Resale: Schaefer Grading for $1,100. Honorable Mention: The Meat Block, LLC, Greenville. Buyer: Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps for $1,250.

BratwurstGrand Champion: Louie’s Finer Meats, Inc. Buyer: Crane Farms for $3,500.

Reserve Champion:: Crescent Meats, Cadott. Buyer: Meijer for $1,000. Resale: Wisconsin Farm Bureau for $1,000. Honorable Mention: Ray's Market. Buyer: Rural Mutual Insurance for $1,500. Resale: Crane Farms for $1,000.

JerkyGrand Champion: Crescent Meats. Buyer: UW Provision Company for $1,000.

Reserve Champion:: Ray’s Market. Buyer: Daluge Travel for $500. Honorable Mention Geiss Meat Service. Buyer: Wisconsin Souvenir Milkcaps for $500.

Cured Specialty Meat ProductGrand Champion: Crescent Meats (Beef Bacon). Buyer: Meijer for $4,500. Resale: Crane Farms for $750.

Reserve Champion:: Wilson Farm Meats (Cottage Bacon). Buyers: Merwin Farms for $2,250. Honorable Mention: Louie’s Finer Meats Inc. (Canadian Bacon). Buyer: Gibbsville Implement for $1,250.

Kielbasa or Polish SausageGrand Champion: Prem Meats. Buyer: UW Provision Company for $1,400.

Reserve Champion:: Louie’s Finer Meats, Inc.. Buyer: Daluge Travel for $1,200. Honorable Mention: Geiss Meat Service. Buyer: Randy Schopen Memorial Foundation for $1,100.

A Wisconsin-shaped Summer Sausage courtesy of Kewaskum Foods, LLC of Kewaskum was purchased by Kewaskum Foods for $3,200 and donated back and resold for $3,000 to Egg Innovations.  The sausage was auctioned off by 4-Her Tommy Slack who has been active in 4-H showing sheep in Walworth County.

Widespread support for 4-H

Even before the auction began volunteers had raised $50,000 in donations to get the event started.

Throughout the day of the sale various Wisconsin State Fair vendors donated a portion of their sales to the Meat Productions Auction and Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. Proceeds from the auction benefit the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, which supports Wisconsin 4-H activities including 4-H conferences, teaching materials and workshops, and overall development of 4-H youth. This year the auction was held at the Wisconsin Exposition Building at the State Fair.

“Enthusiastic 4-H supporters made for an exciting evening,” said Wisconsin 4-H Foundation Executive Director Brenda Scheider. “Seeing our 4-H youth and adult volunteers working next to our generous donors really brings home what 4-H is all about.”

Pam Jahnke, radio and TV agricultural reporter served as Mistress of Ceremonies and  Ben Brancel, Endeavor, and Auctioneer Bob Johnson, Milton, sold 28 Champion, Reserve Champion and Honorable Mention meat products.

The auction is produced in partnership with the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, Wisconsin State Fair and the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors (WAMP).